September 20, 2021

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Afghanistan: The Americans are gone, and the time has come for the Taliban to rule

Kabul, Afghanistan | After celebrating the departure of the U.S. invaders the previous day, the Taliban began a massive mission on Wednesday that controls one of the poorest countries in the world and it is not yet clear what to expect from them.

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The Taliban have said they will wait until the last foreign troops from Afghanistan announce their government structure. The U.S. military withdrew its deadline Monday, about a minute before midnight.

The departure, which was heavily defended again by US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, marked the end of a 20-year war waged by US-led international coalition intervention to oust the Taliban in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. 2001.

The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their determination to form an “inclusive government.” For the international community, their ability to hold this commitment would be the first signal to assess the confidence that can be placed in them.

Since their return to power on August 15, following a military campaign, the Taliban have sought to show openness and moderation, with astonishing speed and efficiency in the West.

But their promises cast doubt on many Afghans and foreign leaders who remember the fundamentalist rule of the Taliban when they ruled the country between 1996 and 2001.

They imposed the most severe version of Islamic law. Women could not work or study, and thieves and murderers suffered terrible punishments.

Many Afghans and Westerners fear one step back from the human rights they have enjoyed over the past two decades, especially educated women who have entered politics or the media.

Most countries have warned that they will be judged by their actions. The United States is ready to “work” with the Taliban, but “must seek legitimacy and support,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned on Monday.

Military parade

“We want good relations with the United States and the world,” Taliban spokesman Jabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Taliban have never been apparent from Saturday to Monday in Kandahar (south), the capital of their previous regime, under the leadership of their supreme leader, Hibatullah Akundzada, since their appointment in May 2016.

The discussions focused on the formation of the government, the security situation and the resumption of public services, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, they caused a parade of dozens of military vehicles in Kandahar, including several Humvees taken on the battlefield by US forces, NATO or the former government forces.

The Islamists, who have vowed not to retaliate against those who served in the previous government, need to get an economy devastated by the war back on track and this is mainly dependent on international aid, which in recent days has largely been frozen by international donors.

Their most important challenge will be to find funds to pay the salaries of government employees and to operate the core infrastructure (water, electricity, communications).

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Afghanistan and the “threat of a total collapse of basic services” and demanded funding for the country.

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The Taliban have to prove their expertise in running the country because tens of thousands of Afghans, often highly educated and talented, left Afghanistan.

Independent movement of Afghans

The rest of the world will be waiting to see what Kabul Airport will do, from where Westerners hastily evacuated more than 123,000 Afghans and foreigners from 143 to 30 August.

The airport is “existential in importance” to Afghanistan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

The Taliban say they want to ensure its security, but are discussing logistics with Turkey.

They also promised to allow Afghanistan to go abroad freely. With some countries like the US and the UK, they should consider having more citizens in Afghanistan and removing those who want to.

In a speech from the White House, President Biden said that leaving Afghanistan overnight was the “best decision” for the United States.

“I firmly believe this is the right decision, the wisest decision and the best decision for America,” he asserted.

“We are not done with you,” he said, adding that he had started addressing the Islamic State jihadi group in Khorasan, which was responsible for the attack that killed more than 100 people, including 13 American soldiers. At the Kabul airport last week.

Mr Biden has been widely criticized in his country, with many of his citizens wondering what his two-decade-long involvement in Afghanistan will ultimately be used for. The United States has condemned the 20-year-old conflict in Afghanistan that killed about 2,500 people and raised $ 2.33 billion, according to a study by Brown University.

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